弟子：Wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep.（財色名食睡）
FROM LAST ISSUE:AT THAT TIME A SEER CAME FORTH AND SPOKE TO THE KING.
At that time the World Honored One, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses, saying,
I recall, in kalpas past, when seeking the Dharma,
Although I was a king at the time,
I had no greed to enjoy the five desires.
Ringing the bell, I announced in the four directions:
"If whoever has the Great Dharma
Will explain it to me, I will be his servant."
Then the seer Asita came and spoke to me, The King, saying,
“I have the subtle, wonderful Dharma,rare in all the world.
If you can cultivate it, I will speak it for your sake.”
The seer’s name was Asita. Does anyone know what Asita means? Those who genuinely wish to investigate the Buddhadharma, will read the text through before the lecture and will look up any terminology that is not familiar.The seer’s name is defined in the notes at the end of the chapter. Not just this sutra, most sutras have notes at the end explaining the terminology. Although I’ve never explained this name before in a lecture, I wanted to see how attentive you and how much you want to understand the lecture. If you really want to understand the lecture, then you will prepare in advance. Having done that, the lecture will be easier to comprehend.
I recall, in kalpas past/ Shakamuni Buddha said, “I remember through infinite eons past when seeking the Dharma/. Because I was seeking the Great Vehicle Buddhadharma, although I was a king at the time: I was the king of the largest country in the world, but I had no greed to enjoy the five desires. I didn’t seek the pleasures of the five desires. What are the five desires?
Disciple: Wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep.
Venerable Master: There’s another list. What is it?
Disciple: Eye, ears, nose, tongue...
Venerable Master: No! No! No! You got it wrong. You are listing the five sense organs. It’s the five sense objects: forms, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch. It’s not the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body. You got it wrong, which just shows that under pressure your samadhi isn’t strong enough. Otherwise, when asked you would be able to respond. These are the five desires. Since you haven’t seen through the five desires yourself, when the time comes, your samadhi power is insufficient. When the test comes, you get nervous and think,“What’s the answer to that question?” Then you fail to come up with the correct answer. It’s all because you haven’t seen through these. The five desires are the five sense objects of forms, sounds, smells, taste, and objects of touch. And the five desires are also wealth, forms, fame, food, and sleep. As to the desire for forms, you shouldn’t explain it too coarsely as being desire for sex only.
If the king wasn't greedy for the five desires, how much the less should we common people be greedy for them. It should not be as hard for us to renounce them. The king had as many opportunities available to him, and still he was not greedy.
To be continued
The last three of the Ten Benefits of Prajna (# eight-ten) printed below, follow issue 316.
8. One will get to the bottom of birth and death. The ocean has a bottom, and every bottle and jar has one. What is the bottom of birth and death? It's Nirvana. To get to the bottom of birth and death is to arrive Nirvana. If you have wisdom, you can end birth and death and ascend the other shore. "Ascending the other shore" is the same as getting to the bottom of birth and death.
9. One will practice ever-increasing compassion. Previously, we heard about the five thousand who left the Dharma Flower Assembly because of overweening pride. Ever-increasing compassion is the exact opposite of overweening pride. Perhaps you weren't very compassionate, but gradually with ever-increasing compassion your compassionate nature develops.
10. One will take no delight in dwelling in the position of the Two Vehicles. One will insist on walking down the Great Vehicle Path. Why is this? Because one has wisdom. Therefore, one wants to turn away from the small and go to wards the great, put the Small Vehicle aside and pick up the Great Vehicle Dharma.